Monday, December 22, 2008

State Laws Related to Immigrants and Immigration in 2008

"State legislatures continue tackling immigration issues in a variety of policy arenas at an unprecedented rate. As of November 30, 2008, no fewer than 1305 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration had been introduced. In 41 states, at least one law or resolution was enacted, with a total of 205 laws and resolutions enacted nationwide. Three bills were vetoed by governors. The 2008 level of activity is comparable to last year, when 1,562 bills were introduced and 240 laws were enacted. As in recent years, the top three areas of interest are identification / driver’s licenses, employment and law enforcement.  For a full report from the National Conference on State Legislatures, see Download report.pdf


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But, but, I thought the public wants AMNESTY, not enforcement??!?

Posted by: J.D. | Dec 22, 2008 5:06:20 PM

J.D., they want both. However, since states can't do both, they myopically do what they think they can. As statistics indicate, these local politicians, (mostly Republicans), all tried to get in their little piece of the Restrictionist pie, in order to be able to run on being tough on "illegals". I will bet you a substantial amount of money that the trend will slow to almost a trickle in 2009, as the few Restictionists that survived their erroneous political miscalculations will not dare to repeat the same mistakes in the wake of the public's huge pronouncement of disapproval at the polls. People want solutions, not scapegoating. The public spoke loudly and clearly in the only way that counts, namely with their votes.

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Dec 23, 2008 8:11:24 AM

"The citizens of this country inherently dislike foreigners who enter illegally what they still hold as being "their country." It's called a sense of American fair play."

Far be it from me to deprive Horace of his request, so I will post a short reply to this passage from his above posting, as it goes to the very heart of what I perceive to be much of the problem with the far-right "perception" of what this debate is about.

In my opinion, there exists a minority block in this country that are against CIR. Within that minority block, there exists a smaller minority subset that vehemently opposes CIR due to a bias. Some may call this a racial bias.

Contrary to Horace's broad pronouncement, I would break down what he says vs. what the majority really think. I don't think that the majority of citizens inherently dislike foreigners who enter illegally. They might inherently dislike foreign terrorists, but on the whole, Americans don't inherently dislike people. They might disapprove of foreigners who enter illegally, I'll give Horace that. However, the majority also understand why they entered illegally, and since Americans are also forgiving, they would be willing to forgive these people under the proper circumstances. We therefore have to tailor CIR to these proper circumstances, and polling strongly indicates that under the proper circumstances, (CIR), the American people are willing to welcome these people, as they "do not" inherently dislike them, However, those that do inherently dislike them, which are thankfully only a subset of the minority, will not forgive or welcome these people into "their country", as they inherently dislike them. Perhaps they forget that before this was "their country," they were foreigners themselves. When their ancestors came here, some legally and some illegally, those ancestors invariable were met by a minority subset who inherently disliked them because they were Irish, or Italian, or Jewish, or Black, or Asian, etc., etc.. They eventually overcame the prejudice they encountered from the minority, and now love their country, as will all the millions of current immigrants, legal or illegal, who are encountering prejudice from a minority subset today.

As to the topic of "American fair play," I'm so glad that Horace brought that up. My sense of American fair play is to understand the circumstances, and act accordingly and fairly. My sense of American fair play is that due to the circumstances, which are that we so much as invited these people here, so as to employ them for their hard work and "relatively" lower wages, that under the proper circumstances we would allow them to stay, considering that they have made lives here, and are raising their families here. I sense that Americans want to treat these people fairly. Fair play is part and parcel of who we are as a people.

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Dec 27, 2008 9:24:37 AM

Horace, Horace,'re a black and white guy, living in a world of shades of gray. First of all, let's discuss the all important concept of subtlety. Synonyms for dislike; hate, abhor, detest, loathe. Synonyms for disapprove; criticize, object to, censor, frown on. Would you like me to look up synonym? Subtlety? He's one for you......perspective.

Dislike is final and absolute. Disapprove leaves room for forgiveness, the ability to set things right, even......amnesty, (yes, I said the "a" word).

Now for the good news. Although the link that you sent to me wouldn't allow me access to the comments, I will blindly concede your assertion that there were probably more anti comments than sympathetic ones. That usually seems the case with these types of articles, even when they appear in the left leaning NY Times. Furthermore, it is troubling to me. I am convinced that it is because the anti's seem far more passionate in their opinions on this issue than the sympathizers. However, in this country, people only get to vote once. They don't get extra votes for extreme sentiments. I'm reminded of the scene in "A Few Good Men," when Demi Moore objects in court. The Judge says to her, "objection overruled," and Demi Moore says, "Your Honor, I strenuously object!", at which point she is admonished that a strenuous objection carries no more weight than just a plain old, run of the mill objection. I suspect that to be the case with the anti's that strenuously object to illegal immigration. Their passion, misplaced though it may be, carries no more weight than the objective opinions which thankfully continue to poll much more favorably toward compassion for our undocumented, (ie: CIR).

PS: I'm glad that you've requested me to reply to your comments even though you are deployed. I've missed our little chats. And by the way, I wasn't kidding. I do wish you good luck. You and I seem to disagree about most things, but I do respect your right to your opinions, although you really have never truly understood my intentions and motivations.

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Dec 28, 2008 5:54:33 AM

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